Malay Song

A poem by Laurence Hope (Adela Florence Cory Nicolson)

The Stars await, serene and white,
The unarisen moon;
Oh, come and stay with me to-night,
Beside the salt Lagoon!

My hut is small, but as you lie,
You see the lighted shore,
And hear the rippling water sigh
Beneath the pile-raised floor.

No gift have I of jewels or flowers,
My room is poor and bare:
But all the silver sea is ours,
And all the scented air

Blown from the mainland, where there grows
Th' "Intriguer of the Night,"
The flower that you have named Tube rose,
Sweet scented, slim, and white.

The flower that, when the air is still
And no land breezes blow,
From its pale petals can distil
A phosphorescent glow.

I see your ship at anchor ride;
Her "captive lightning" shine.
Before she takes to-morrow's tide,
Let this one night be mine!

Though in the language of your land
My words are poor and few,
Oh, read my eyes, and understand,
I give my youth to you!

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